Books and Hotels Vol.2

People talk about their favorite books to read at hotels from their unique perspectives.

Miyamoto Teru (Writer)

“An Enthralling Nordic Noir That Keeps a Great Writer Up All Night”

 Having grown up just a 10-minute walk away from the RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka until he was 21, Miyamoto Teru knows the Nakanoshima area like the back of his hand. “I love how the RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka makes me feel at home with its calming ambiance that’s unique to hotels with long histories,” he says, expressing his love for the hotel. We asked him to share his favorite books to read while staying at hotels.

Illustration/Shiokawa Izumi

I read before bed, even when I am traveling

 I read before bed every day. I have been for a long time, but I started reading e-books because I can read them without turning on the light when my wife is sleeping next to me. I love using an e-book reader because I can enlarge the text to a size that is easy for even my farsighted eyes to read, and any lengthy piece of literature can fit in a reader that can be held in one hand.

 When I am at home, I mainly read academic and history books. Many of them are related to my work, and I often end up reading for about an hour and a half. They tend to wake me up even more when I’m trying to sleep, so after I put down the e-book, I put on my earphones, trying not to disturb my wife, and listen to Rakugo performances from the 1960s by Kokontei Shinsho the 5th.

 I listen to several 20- to 30-minute-long pieces for one and a half hours. Which means I finally fall asleep about three hours after getting into bed. This is my nightly routine, and I do not change it even when I am on a trip.

When you start reading at midnight…

 When I stay at hotels, it is usually for work, and I travel to Tokyo the most. My usual routine goes like this: After meeting with my editors, going out to eat, and returning to my hotel room at around 9:00 to 10:00 p.m., I take a shower, change into pajamas, and enjoy my free time. While enjoying a pleasant sense of fatigue, I read some of the books I have in my e-book reader. I am usually very tired when I am on a trip, so I read some entertaining pieces.

 I read “Millennium Vol. 1: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” during one business trip to Tokyo. It was recommended to me by one of my editors right after it was published. I had put it in my e-book reader, but I didn’t touch it for a while because books that receive a great deal of fanfare often turn out to be disappointing. However, I knew it was a worldwide hit, so I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to start reading it.

 As it turns out, it was extremely good. The main character is a Swedish woman, but she is the complete opposite of what I would have imagined a Scandinavian person to be. Her stature is small, like a child, but she is aggressive. She is a renowned hacker with a mysterious past. All the characters are unique, and I could not stop reading, wondering what would happen next.

 “Millennium” is a trilogy, each of which is divided into two books, and each book is quite thick. If it were published in ordinary paperback book form, it would be about six books. I read it in one sitting for about 10 hours, starting around midnight. It was my first time doing something like that, so I was surprised. I even wondered why I had come to Tokyo (laughs). After finishing it, I took another shower and fell asleep. The next time I woke up, it was already evening.

Enchanted by Nordic Noir Novels

 The “Millennium” series reveals the secrets of the main character Lisbeth’s past through the trilogy “ The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” and “ The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.” That means “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is just the beginning, and I recommend reading all three. If you do, don’t forget to set aside plenty of time.

 I had always been a mystery lover, but this was the first time I had come across a masterpiece like this. I even started reading more Nordic Noir thanks to it. However, the author, Stieg Larsson, has already passed away, and I have yet to come across a novel that surpasses this one, so please let me know if you have any recommendations.